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Stakes still high in Singapore

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Andrew Benson | 19:04 UK time, Friday, 23 September 2011

In Singapore

Sebastian Vettel may be on the verge of clinching his second world title, a feat he could achieve here this weekend, but the narrative thread of this Formula 1 season is a long way from complete.

In fact, in many ways, when the 24-year-old Red Bull driver finally clinches the title, it will change little - it has looked inevitable from very early on in the season.

But here under the spectacular night-time skyline of Singapore, plenty of issues remain to be resolved.

Although Vettel set the fastest time in Friday practice, one of those issues is whether he can take the win on Sunday that would make him the sport's youngest double world champion if Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is lower than third, and McLaren's Jenson Button or Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber do not finish second.

The German is, as Button said, clearly "very fast" again here - you would expect nothing else from a man who has won eight of the season's 13 races and taken 10 pole positions.

But on the evidence of Friday practice, he could face a stiff challenge from Alonso, the man who beat him to victory here last year.

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Although Vettel was 0.2secs faster than Alonso on headline times, the Spaniard looked if anything slightly quicker on their race runs late in the session.

Alonso's fastest time on these was one minute 52.160 seconds, compared to Vettel's 1:52.374, while the Ferrari's average pace was about 0.15secs a lap quicker.

Lewis Hamilton described the Ferrari as "massively quick", but all may not be as it seems.

Red Bull believe Ferrari run with slightly less fuel than them in these race-simulations runs, and with 10kg of fuel adding 0.42secs in lap time, that can make a big difference.

On top of that, Vettel's run was slightly compromised by traffic, so he may not have exploited the initial pace of his tyres as well as Alonso.

Either way, this race looks for now as if it will be a battle between these two - just as last year's was.

McLaren looked a long way off on pace on Friday. Hamilton's long-run average appeared to be nearly a second slower than Alonso's - and on top of that McLaren seem to be struggling more severely with tyre degradation.

Still, a Vettel-Alonso battle would be heavy with significance. This is a race Vettel has never won. He is well known for his fondness for ticking statistical boxes and it will smart that he was beaten here last year by a slower car as a result of a mistake in qualifying borne of pressure exerted by Alonso at a track at which he excels.

It is, too, only two weeks since Alonso edged Vettel on to the grass as the Red Bull passed him to take the lead of the Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel has played down the significance of that incident here, but it impressed him enough to mention to race director Charlie Whiting and his deputy Herbie Blash after the race in Italy how touch-and-go it had been.

Equally, Alonso is a proud man who will not have appreciated being passed around the outside there - as he was by Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber at Eau Rouge at the preceding race in Belgium.

For many people, Alonso and Vettel are the two most complete drivers on the grid. A battle between them on Sunday would only be one of many F1 will witness in the coming years, but each one is laden with a significance of its own that adds complexity and detail to the bigger story.

It was perhaps significant that, at a race many of the drivers agree is the toughest of all, the top three places on Friday were occupied by F1's 'big three'.

Like Alonso, Lewis Hamilton excels around this place - they are the only two men to have won here - and the Englishman arrives here, the first of six long-haul races that will bring the season to a close, determined to try to replace memories of what his team admits has been a difficult season with more positive recollections.

Hamilton was strangely subdued at the last race in Monza, saying he was determined just to finish after crashing in Spa. But he says he has arrived here with "massive motivation".

That befits a schizophrenic season by Hamilton, who has veered between breathtaking excellence and ham-fisted errors, from all-out attack and too much aggression in some places to excessive conservatism at others.

After Monza, team principal Martin Whitmarsh has said he wants "the old Lewis back". Which Hamilton will be on show on Sunday?

McLaren have mirrored Hamilton's up-and-down year, with Button - their best driver in the last three races - admitting on Thursday that a series of errors had prevented them mounting any consistent challenge to Red Bull.

For them, too, a strong end to the season would provide a welcome boost ahead of a renewed challenge on Vettel in 2012.

No one is more in need of that, though, than Webber.

It is becoming an ever more glaring statistic that in a season his team-mate has dominated in the best car, the Australian has yet to win a race, and lies fourth in the championship.

Webber says he is sure a win will come before the end of the season, but the situation is clearly beginning to grate a little - on Thursday, he swore at a journalist who asked him about it.

Webber's team boss Christian Horner has had his own frustrations this weekend, with the re-emergence of murmurings that Red Bull have broken the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA) that restricts the teams' spending on research and development.

Several rival teams clearly believe Red Bull have gone beyond the limitations laid out in the RRA, and Horner has found himself fending off questions about a story that we first covered on this blog back in January.

BBC Sport has seen excerpts of a report into the RRA commissioned by the F1 teams' umbrella group Fota from a Dutch auditor called Cap Gemini.

It concludes that Red Bull have "successfully implemented the processes and procedures and supporting systems of the RRA and observed the rules and regulations in their daily practices" and adds that they "have sufficient basis and inputs to answer the questions asked by Fota".

In the circumstances, it's no wonder Horner has appeared a little frustrated by this story at times this weekend.

All this intrigue and drama is occurring at what is rapidly emerging as one of the best events on the calendar.

The drivers universally praise this race, with Vettel and Button disagreeing over whether this or Monaco was a greater challenge, Hamilton describing it as a "mega fun" and Alonso and Webber agreeing it is probably the toughest race of the year.

That might sound odd to some - after all, a quick glance at the circuit map reveals an almost endless succession of slow, right-angled corners.

But go out to watch trackside here, and it becomes abundantly clear.

The cars, glistening and gleaming under the lights, buck and dance over the bumps and kerbs. The best drivers literally skim the walls. Lovely, coloured lanterns line the track. The Singapore downtown skyline provides a dramatic backdrop and the heavy heat and humidity combine with a relaxed ambience to create a heady atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the viewing for the fans trackside rivals anywhere in the world - they can wander around the circuit almost at will, and the cars are close by in all their violence and beauty.

As Button said here on Thursday, an individual grand prix victory means almost as much to a driver as a world title, so big are the emotions it unleashes.

And, for many people for many different reasons this weekend, a win in Singapore would mean more than most.


After an incident-packed but somewhat inconclusive qualifying session, Vettel's chances of winning on Sunday look if anything even stronger than they did before the weekend.

Vettel is on pole, inevitably, but behind him are three drivers unsure whether they can challenge him. Webber has admitted to not being that comfortable around Singapore - although he says he feels better about the race - and the McLaren drivers in third and fourth places have deep concerns about tyre wear.

Ironically, then, the man in fifth place on the grid - Alonso - might be the man who could push Vettel closest, given the Ferrari is usually quicker comparatively in the race than it is in qualifying, and looked very pacy on Friday.

But even if that is the case he has three cars to get past before he can do so. And as Button says: "You need to have Vettel in your sights at the start of the race to have any chance of challenging him at the end."

But if a win seems locked on for Vettel, he doesn't look likely to be able to win the title on Sunday, given the make-up of the grid. But no one expects a straightforward race, at the longest event on the calendar, on one of the most demanding tracks. Even rain is a possibility.

"It's not going to be a straightforward race," Button said. "It'll be about strategy and looking after your tyres."


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    "Several rival teams clearly believe Red Bull have gone beyond the limitations laid out in the RRA."

    All the top teams break the resource restriction agreement ... RBR and Mclaren have too many staff, so do Mercedes who conveniently don't count the people who build the engine, and Ferrari amazingly say nearly 100 engineers work on their historic F1 car collection ... And let's not get into the sub-contracting phantom companies ... Let's just face it the RRA is never going to work.

    Any news on the Sky deal yet? Or are the viewers still not at the 'heart of BBC programming'.

  • Comment number 2.

    93.3% of the people who took part in the survey on have said they will not be subscribing to sky sports for the 2012 f1 season.

    No to sky.

  • Comment number 3.

    "For many people, Alonso and Vettel are the two most complete drivers on the grid. A battle between them on Sunday would only be one of many F1 will witness in the coming years, but each one is laden with a significance of its own that adds complexity and detail to the bigger story."

    Very true - but I'll only be able to watch half the battles and so lose out on the nuances of the bigger story.

  • Comment number 4.

    Wow, I can't believe that, after 32 years of watching F1, this may be the last title decider I ever see on the BBC or on FTA TV. From Jody's Ferrari to Sebs Red Bull, RIP F1, thanks Bernie, thanks BBC managers.

    "Imagine there's no F.One
    It's easy if you try
    No BeeBeeCee below us
    Above us only Sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for RaceSunday...

    Imagine there's no Murdoch
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to hate or die for
    And no Bernie Ecclestone too
    Imagine all the people
    Watching grand prix in peace...

    You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will all be able to watch F.One

    Imagine no Brundle, DC; Jake, Eddie; Lee, Ted; Ant, Crofty or Murray Walker
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    We have a brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the World...(Championship)

    You may say that I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someone can undo this mess
    And the world will all watch F.One "

  • Comment number 5.

    Wish you'd make your mind up Andrew, one blog Vetel is questioned by most people and now he's considered the most complete driver along with Alonso??

    Just lest you forget...No to Sky!!

  • Comment number 6.

    I am looking forward to Sunday's race as it could be the championship decider and it must be said that the cars look stunning lit up at night! Shame that we will only see highlights of this race next year as it bound to be cherry picked by SKY as the BBC has already has Monaco. I am gutted that there is only a 50% chance that i will be able to see the next the climax of the 2012 season. KEEP F1 FREE TO AIR!

  • Comment number 7.

    The Red Bull passes on Alonso were brave, especially Webber's, but remember the Ferrari was a dog of a car compared to the Red Bull in those races. Alonso had only just exited the pits at Spa so was out tractioned on cooler tyres and at Monza Vettel disappeared into the distance. It's not really an even match, even the McLarens were much faster than Ferrari, just Alonso was so good at the start he was mixing it with the Bulls.
    And I almost forgot, for the newbies, on the the rotten TV deal...

    I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar, that's what I need
    hey hey
    Well I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar that's what I need
    sky sky
    Said I need one thousand dollars, dollars, that's what I need
    And if I share with you my paycheque, would you share your F1 with me?
    Bad times are coming, sponsors, in UK F1 don't show
    hey hey
    Well let me tell you Bernie, all that glitters ain't gold
    sky pay
    It's been a long, old, troubled, long old troublesome road
    And I'm looking at RTL with 5 Live, ‘cos even Brundle says its torpedoed

    I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar that's what I need
    sky sky
    Well I need one thousand dollars, dollars that's what I need

    Well I don't knooow, if I'm walking on solid ground
    Cause everything about this deal is, falling down
    And all I want - is for someone, Don - to help meeeeeeeeee

    I had my F1, but Beeb boss man let me go
    He said
    ''I'm sorry but I won't be needing you 6 million fans no more''
    I said
    ''Please mister Beeb man, we need this sport more than you know''
    But he gave me another reality talent show, and he sent me on out the door

    I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar that's what I need
    hey hey
    Said I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar that's what I need
    sky sky
    And I need one thousand dollars, dollars, that's what I need
    And if I share with you my paycheque, would you share your F1 with me?

    Well I don't know if this deals been done on solid ground
    Cause the future of F1 is, crumbling down
    And all I want - is for someone, Don - to help meeeeeeeeee

    What in the world, am I gonna to do tomorrow
    Is there someone with a thousand dollars I can borrow
    who can help me take away my sorrow?

    (Maybe it's inside the bottle)
    (Maybe it's inside the bottle)
    I had some good old buddies, names is Silver and Spa
    (hey hey)
    and for my good old buddies I spent my last dime

  • Comment number 8.

    Norbert HAUG (Mercedes) talking about the BBC/Sky deal

    "I think you need to see things right: it was BBC taking the decision if I'm informed correctly and I think it was a great job from Bernie, from Sky, from everybody else to step in and now we will see what the development will bring, but of course the initiative from the BBC. It was not the commercial rights holder selling non-free-to-air and I think that it is very important to keep that in mind. I can understand the BBC's position but the basic plan was a different one. It's a good combination still. I think pay TV…this channel in England is completely different, for example, to Germany. I heard that they have ten million or whatever subscribers so basically you can have a lot of viewers. But I'm not qualified to judge that in detail, but I think it is important to realise how it all started."

    "If I'm informed correctly, you can watch each and every Grand Prix free-to-air, this is still the case, and so maybe it's an addition, if it's played in the correct way. We have to wait and see but there was no alternative."

    Where did he get the 10 million sky subscribers figure from? There is going to be a few big shocks next year if this deal happens.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Andrew,

    I truly pity you. It really is unfortunate that you spend so much time, energy, enthusiasm for your readers and bosses to only fall victim on deaf ears. Surely this must be the worst feeling for a journalist who has put body and soul to share ones experience. Very sad you feel constrained to speak your mind when the whole premise of journalism is based on exercising your freedom of speech. Quite ironic.

    I am battered, exhausted and humbled. I now truly know how Shawshank felt. Thank you.

    Good day to you, Jake and to all the BBC as I truly wish you well. I feel your longevity will only last a short time. Your masters have done you over and an In justice. For a start, I never heard of you Andrew till the BBC gained F1. You too will become obsolete, just like the genuine F1 fan. Join the club.

    I have now become too entwined in the politics of F1 to ever enjoy this sport. Perhaps it is true, that F1 is a rich mans sport and not for the prole as myself. I have to face the reality that I am a nobody because my views account for nothing. I am humbled.

  • Comment number 10.

    The drivers may see this as a fun circuit, but personally it bores me as a fan watching it each year.

    I have a proposal for the BBC and Sky - Let Sky have all the Hermann Tilke tracks and the BBC can have all the classic circuits. That way all the best races are shown on terrestrial and Sky only get the less exciting races. I think that's a plan that could work overall!

  • Comment number 11.

    Again, the BBC OVERPAID for rights in 2008 when ITV ditched the rights
    Therefore, the BBC LOST the rights due to Roger Mosley as Head of BBC Sport overpaying for the rights.
    So Sky Sports came in to save the BBC.
    BBC do realise why they needed to spend £200m on rights when FOM do all the production so all the BBC needed to do was to offer less because no-one else was bidding at the time!

  • Comment number 12.

    Webber's team boss Christian Horner has had his own frustrations this weekend, with the re-emergence of murmurings that Red Bull have broken the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA) that restricts the teams' spending on research and development.

    Thougth it was only the bbc that broke agreements in F1....:)

    Second year the rra has been trotted out fota did not prove it last year and will fail this year red bull is not that stupid.

    Fota could always send them a foi request on the matter works well with the

    Dont worry Christian take a leaf out of bbc book,block any request from any partys(be they fia fan's or mp's those sort of things) that would like to know whats going on and what ever you do no matter how much bad press you get or stories contry to what you have said come out dont let on theres a problem:)

    No to sky:)

  • Comment number 13.

    Excuse me Andrew. Which Blog/Race are you commenting on? Hungary? Spa? Monza or Singapore?

    One minute he, (Vetel), is being questioned by almost eveyone and now it seems that he is the best completed driver, up with the likes of Alonso.
    Whilst he continually sticks his finger up in that childish Juvenile & rude way, I cannot but dislike him. As a driver he has merit, but no where as near as Alonso/Hamilton & Button; of the Latest.Newest F1 Champions.

    Keeping on Topic as you mentioned 2012 above, ( For them, too, a strong end to the season would provide a welcome boost ahead of a renewed challenge on Vettel in 2012); then I can leave this comment also:

    Talking up sticking a finger up at people, I found this joke doing the rounds on the internet & on U-Tube!!!.......

    Bernie The Eccles set in Stone of the Manor; wanted to buy Shep , [(Get down John Noakes), or was it a Petra] & his other children/Pit Babes, a Birthday/Wedding/Spoilt Rotten Prezzie......

    He goes to the eldest, 'Prey, (Bird of Prey that is, who loves tearing up the flesh of a weaker Lesser Spotted Agreement, commonly known as a Concorde), 'What would you like'?
    The reply, 'a Dolls House please Pa Pa!, (I love to get my claws into something, not weak, but now F1 defenceless)....So he buys 'Him', (pun intended), 10 Hilton Hotels....

    The Second Eldest asks for a Toy Aeroplane, so he buys 'Her' 10 Concorde's, (but not agreement's, as they are too sensitive). For art's sake, we shall call them Jumbo 737 400's...Well! Big Mothers of an aeroplane.......

    The Yougest say's excitedly... Pa Pa! Pa Pa!, I would like a Cowboy Outfit, so Bernie bought for her fluffy ballness, News International/News Corp/Sky..... Ta Taaaa...

    ......He had thought of buying her the BBC; but unfortunately they still had some credability...Although this was fading very very fast after 8 weeks of Fillabusting & Denial. He said they were not real Cowboys as they were the opposite to Bad B;ack, 'Jack Elam' Rustlers....? Because they gave away things far to easily to the Greedy Cattle Barons, rather than pinching them for him.... Ouch...

    Wonder how long this will last...

    VerrrWum, VerrrWum, VerrrrWum...Excess Hausted....

  • Comment number 14.

    Mr big you would not happen to have a link to that story as a major f1 story I thought it would of been in the gossip column(im sure thers been some sort of oversight as to why it was not included:) never know it might get posted in tomorrows gossip column lol.

    No to sky:)

  • Comment number 15.

    continued from #7 to Aloe Black's tune...

    (Maybe it's inside the bottle)
    (Maybe it's inside the bottle)
    I had some good old buddies, names is Silver and Spa
    (hey hey)
    and for my good old buddies I spent my last dime
    (hey hey)
    Silverstone is good to me, it helped me love F1 all this time
    and my good old buddy Spa keeps me warmer without sunshine
    (hey hey)
    Bernie may have blessed the F1 child, that's got his own
    (hey hey)
    If he has plans for F1, I hope it ain't written in stone
    (hey hey)
    Because I've been working, working myself down to the bone
    and I swear on Bernies grave, I won’t pay Sky for F1 when I come home
    (hey hey)

    Well I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar that's what I need
    (hey hey)
    Said I need a dollar, dollar, a dollar that's what I need
    (sky sky)
    Well I’d need one thousand dollars, dollars, that's what I’d need
    And if I share with you my story, would you share your F1 with me
    come on share your F1 with me
    go ahead share your F1 with me
    (fade out...)

    [assuming F1 HD and exchange rate of 1.66 x £600 = $1000]

    Anyway enough of that, the blog title is apt, the stakes are still high in Singapore because we know so little of the F1 deal so far. I'd like to find out just how much Bernie is trampling over the BBC deal decision makers, playing them to get his own way. Give us a clue, full reruns or not, which races, year on year future cutbacks or not, who loses their jobs within the F1 production team. (bet theres silence till an announcement on the best possible hidden date like December 24th).

    The simple fact the deal is being done despite the massive 6m audiences, BAFTA award, and that the BBC Trust reports BBCF1's giving real value for money, cannot inspire confidence for anyone in the BBC F1 team that their managers will be behind them in coming years.

    Sky will surely be out to kill F1 on the BBC if they want it to work for them. They'll want to separate out the SkyBet, dumbed down reports and babes etc to other Sky channels like SSNews and focus on a quality team headed by Brundle and DC. Contracts will be broken somehow just like with F1 drivers. If this were to happen the commentators would need some good exit clauses in their Sky contract incase it fails like last time.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they were to deal with a gulf in audience between BBC and their full Sky Sports package audience by offering some form of pay per

  • Comment number 16.

    sorry, try again, continued...

    I wouldn't be surprised if they were to deal with a gulf in audience between BBC and their full Sky Sports package audience by offering some form of pay per race deal. Surely they will find it unacceptable even if the audience gulf was say BBC (down to 3million) VS Sky Sports F1 (est 700K).

    Care that is unless they are wanting to run it like 'Big Brother' and not care about the content but just make money from SkyBet betting like BB made money from phone votes? Then eventually buy it from Bernie at a great price as they themselves ironically devalue it slightly, to ultimately make cash from dividends, put it back on FTA TV then sell for a mint when the audience balloons again and the recession ends.

    It's all hypothetical, but if it didn't get their predicted take up in F1 SkySports subscribers, so they then offered it as pay per race, would you pay for it if it was like one of their box office movies, say £5 for a race?

  • Comment number 17.

    ferrari35 its on pitpass he said it during the press conference today. I would pop the link up, but strangely when ever i try to link a story on these blogs it gets removed!

  • Comment number 18.

    Andrew, glad to see you managed to fly out to Singapore before the licence fee dried up completely for such beanos. Well done.

    By the way, check out your style guide on the use of 'schizophrenic'. Pretty sure you'll see that it's an offensive clanger in a non-medical context ...

    Still, at least it gives you a chance to have a bit of a sneer at a decent Brit sportsman.

  • Comment number 19.

    @8 - that's the amount of households that have Sky installed and the basic package, we all know how many have the sports channels on top of that and he admits himself he doesn't know what he is talking about - anybody got contact details for him?

  • Comment number 20.

    @10 Chizzle, I like your thinking. The Tilke tracks can be sold as new, super glossy, with massive paddocks etc for Sky to invite the Premiership footballers to, Abu D, Valencia, wow! Poor old FTA TV would have to suffer 'scummy' places with tiny paddocks like Spa, Monza, Interlagos etc. Heck split the championships into two as well and add more races to each, more money for Bernie, so Tilke Dubai, Tilke India for Sky and dirty old Imola or ancient old nordschleife for FTA F1. ;)

    Also, somebody email Norbert and the Merc brass to tell them just how many Sky subscribers there are but more importantly just how many have full Sky Sports. Then ask them to do an analysis on how many of them would watch F1 over their beloved footie.

  • Comment number 21.

    Thanks jazzotang:)
    Im sure the bbc only remove the link as they dont like to advertise and it has nothing to do with the fact it does not tally with the bbc's acout of what happend:)

    Bbc time to come clean and no to sky:)

  • Comment number 22.

    @305 Samson2009 wrote on: Andrew's/Pator Maldonado's blog:

    @302 & @303 - what worries me most is the betting on the crashes, I like a good crash as much as the next person, but just feels a bit sick!! Mind they'd have cleaned up in Monza - no one saw Luizi coming!!

    They new Luizi was coming, and they did clean up at Monza. I saw Georgie & Jardine putting down some slick/oil desguised as Waffle & Bull Sh ** t. (Or was it An Alchohol Drink & Driving Beverage, with some Orange Sun Tan Cream).

    They had to get their commission in, as their boss had 'spent' their wages for the year. He had just paid out £3,000,000 quid to the Deserving Millie Dowler Family....

    I bet 10/1 or even better 1/1000 odds on. That will have cleaned up at the Sky Bet Bookies & made old RrrrrrruuuuPert smile. Well a close Shaving Foam Smile anyway....

  • Comment number 23.

    @19 Norbert is so far off the mark here, best go for the top of the tree. He did announce recently he was not happy with the Merc F1 team performance though having a presence on the grid in F1 was important.
    In which case he may be interested in a drop in presence relating to audience numbers in the UK...

    Dr. Dieter Zetsche
    Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG
    Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars
    Daimler AG Headquarters
    70546 Stuttgart

  • Comment number 24.

    @ ferrari 35

    like jazzltang says was on pitpass. It was just the Friday press conference at Singapore so transcript available on a lot of websites but it was the pitpass guy who asked them the questions about the TV deal. It seemed like they haven't a clue from what Haug was saying about it. Didn't link because thought they would remove post. and also he asks them again after that question on the next page

  • Comment number 25.

    @ ferrari

    Go to page 4 & 5

  • Comment number 26.

    The BBC keep putting up blogs but keep refusing to answer the hundreds of questions the British licence payer and F1 fans have over this deal. How long can you continue to ignore the licence payer?

    No to Sky
    No to Sky
    No to Sky
    The BBC is a disgrace.

  • Comment number 27.

    @ mr big thanks mate got it:) intresting read looks like its not only british fans in the dark about the deal I wonder what odds skybet would give me if I send in yet another foi request about this deal.

    Maybe they are right and the numbers will work out for them while their market drop in the uk it might remain the same in the rest of the world its not like the global economy might be heading into another downturn.

  • Comment number 28.

    @ Mr Big & @ Ferrari 35

    We need to get this out to them. If only my 5 numbers & two stars will come up this week, then I will pay for an all expenses paid flight out to the last 5, (doubut I will make this one at Singapore, if I get rich quickly), Races & let everybody know what is going on.

    If anyone can get a link or tweet to Pitpass & Mat Coch #KeepF1onBBC tag & hopefully he will Rt it on.

    As many of you who can Write to Norbet Haug at:
    MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One Team:
    Basic Information off their Facebook site:
    Brackley, United Kingdom
    FIA Formula One World Championship
    Official MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One Team Facebook page
    Mat Cooch of Pit questions to RF & NH/Norbet Haug: - On Pages 4 & 5

  • Comment number 29.

    The comments from Norbert Haug are unbelieveable, how can the Head of Mercedes Motorsport have such a lacking picture about the true situation behind UK viewers?

    F1 sponsors are going to lose out. They will realise it eventually.

    I repeat my assertion that sponsorship is just a way for the CEOs and their families/friends to enjoy VIP days out hanging out with celebrities without having to pay a penny of their own money.

  • Comment number 30.

    @ 29 Alastair &
    @ Joanna Cup Cake said: on a recent blog:

    That she would not be re-newing her Vodaphone x 2 phones contract. I think that she also mentioned something else about a sponsor who would lose out.

    Well I am with Every Thing Every Where, (Orange & T-Mobile combined), so I do not have that luxury...

    What I did use, (No offence to Jensen, whom I followed through all the way from Williams/Honda/Toyota/Brawn/Mercedes & others along the way); Head & Shoulders.

    That is until today, as I have used my last Head & Shoulders Shampoo. Bought a Body Shop one instead. (Hope they do not sponsor F1). I still have H&S Conditioner, but this will go the same way.

    Any way that I can hit the sponsors then just as another Goglomerate says, 'Every Little Bit Helps?'

    If we can all do our bit, then let us do likewise.

    I have already closed down my Santander/Allaince & Leicester account down & removed all my funds to another Fat, (not Fred Goodwin), Cat Banker......

    Some may think this is Petty, but I do not! I am very, very, very serious........

  • Comment number 31.

    Poor Andrew. This is all such a mess. It's funny, but it seems like the season has ended and all the 6th formers have gone on a riot.

    These forums are now under siege. It's like a 6 month long FlashMob in my computer. The championship is over early, and there is only one topic. SKY/BBC/BE/RM and their relationship with the devil.

    That's quite a shame. It will be interesting seeing the BBC and Sky coverage compete next year. Which of course they will. And which of course is ridiculous. It will be as exciting as watching the Abu Dhabi GP. I have to say, even though I haven't seen it, if they start promoting betting then that will turn off a lot of F1 fans. And as much as I like Tony Jardine, and I do, he will still get blown away by the BBC team. As far as F1 in the UK is concerned, they want to keep the BBC format, as much as they want to keep it on FTA. If the deal was that it was to be on SKY, and that the whole BBC show would be moved over to Sky "as is", with no more viewing on FTA, then we would still get complaints, but so many more would agree to switch over. This is because they will get to keep their BBC show, except it would now be called Sky, plus 600 bucks. But as it is, a lot are sort of willing to pay if pushed, but not for Sky Betting and Tony Jardine. They will prefer to watch the BBC on FTA, which means they will for 50% of the races. That is not going to encourage more Sky viewers. That just gets sky presentation to compete with BBC presentation, and Sky will lose. This is nonsense. They are trying to shove it towards SKY but have a format on the BBC that is the one they want to watch. It just splits the whole experience of F1 to the fans.

    If you're going to go to sky, do it, and take Brundle and co with you, and set up shop there. If it's like the BBC F1, indeed, it IS the BBC F1 team and format, then people will sign up. They'll moan, but they'll pay. But not for Jardine looking like a LibDem politician, Alonso at odds of 4-1, and vacuous airheads showing cleavage. This management situation for the fans just smashes the viewing experience.

    The whole deal has tried to please everyone, and has ended up pleasing no-one. Bad management here, all round.

  • Comment number 32.

    Here's an interesting question- If Vettel's leading, with Hamilton second and Button third, would Hamilton let Button past to let him still have a chance of winning the championship? I'm not sure he would, since the chances of Button winning from that position are practically nil.

  • Comment number 33.

    I doubt it too - I think drivers relinquishing positions by choice is pretty rare at the best of times, so unless Whitmarsh gets involved (which I doubt, as he'll only care about constructor's points at this stage ), Hamilton and Button will both out there to do as well as they can, and therefore not give a second thought to each other's championship position.

  • Comment number 34.

    The basic questions have still not been answered , why did the BBC force its f1 viewing subscribers (which is what we are) to have to pay for a FULL season of Sky and pay the BBC fee to dishonour a contract that was valid free to air until 2013 when other free to air channels were available and had funds to share with the BBC in line with the Concorde agreement on european broadcasting rights.
    I will NEVER forgive the BBC for what it has done here , it has behaved in the best interests of noone and given licence fee payers good excuse for concern about the people at the tiller .... Until now i was blind about the BBC and its delusinoal thinking now i see it clearly , and may i just add hi Barbara did you get some nice shoes in Monza?.

  • Comment number 35.

    Next year will be an F1 tv mish mash coverage compared to the 2011 F1 season.
    Outstanding quality by the BBC coverage (and ITV) have produced 30 years of Televised entertainment (and free) coverage for my enjoyment.
    Of the latter racers, the actually racing, needless to say, has been sublime at times.
    Sadly, I feel that the actual racing seasons will improve in the next 2-3 years, but
    Knowing after 30 years that I will be unable to subscribe I am a tad disappointed.
    You must keep F1 on terrestial tv, please.

    1st Vettel, 2nd Alonso, 3rd Jenson Button and Hamilton and Webber will fight for the 4th place in the 2011 Championship.

    So it will be ashame to miss out on the 'fully loaded' BBC insight for 2012 + :(

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi Andrew , Nice to see you doing some thing to ( not ) justify you expensive trip out , Something that you surely could have done in the UK , The BBC never learns does it ..
    NO TO SKY . .

  • Comment number 37.

    I am rather hoping that the championship isn't decided this weekend.
    My interest in F1 has diminished so much since that announcement during the Hungary weekend but that is, I am sure, temporary and I will get the bug back as soon as I have sorted out my next years viewing. Its a bit like the last day of your holiday when you have to get the coach to the airport at noon and that lovely pool you've been sitting around for the last two weeks is now tormenting you because you know that its all over.You just want to get on your way and get out of there and have your memories.
    Thats how I feel about the prospects for next year. I notice that this blog has had a number of posts removed overnight. That, I am afraid, is the final straw BBC. I have to pay you because that is the law but if I could avoid doing so I would.You no longer have my support which is sad.

    I don't even think I can bring myself to this page anymore or watch the races.

    @ 31- you are right, to attract any viewers at all Sky would do well to import the excellent BBC team but that won't attract me. I can't justify the expense when I have other things to pay for. I don't feel an entitlement to FTA F1 on BBC but I do think that they have behaved in a very shoddy manner. They have probably technically done nothing wrong from a business point of view but they have lost a lot of goodwill (me for example- a hitherto stalwart supported of the Beeb). I am not throwing my toys out of the pram because I can't have my way. I have taken a long hard look at this and I have read and digested some of the posts that the "realists" have made here and I know deep down that they have made a lot of points that whilst I don't agree with, I have to accept that there are other views than mine.

    So, sadly, this really is goodbye. To those who feel that the "No To Sky" brigade have spoiled the blogs- I am sorry if you feel that way. I hope you enjoy next years coverage enjoying the sport that, whether we agree in our methodology or not, we all love and feel passionate about. I shall enjoy F1 but from other sources but that will most definitely not be BBC or Sky. I am going to miss Martin's commentary.

  • Comment number 38.

    Have to say to i really like this track, i think the cars look awsome under the lights.

    Under the proposals as published by Ben Gallop in the now infamous locked blog for 2012-18, the BBC would be showing the "final championship" round live, as it looks that Vettel could well tie up the champioship at this race, does that mean it would be described as the "last round of the championship" and therefore shown live on the BBC even if it had been previuosly scheduled at a non live race??

    If vettel doesnt finlaise the championship until the next race, is that the last chamionship round of the season, and therfore shown live on the BBC, even thou they should the preceding race which was thought at the time could be the championship final??

    Are the BBC going to be showing full reruns, or extended highlights of the non live races in 2012??

    Which races are the BBC showing live next season??

    Yes to terristrial TV.

  • Comment number 39.

    30,000 people say NO TO SKY

    The BBC sold us out to Sky, it's a disgrace.

  • Comment number 40.

    I have to keep watching the skytv promo clip with Tony Jardine, I mean hells teeth the man is so boring, I can remember the ITV days when him and Jim Rosenthal did the studio stuff, it was beyond pathetic! And it looks like they are going to pair him and some law breaking drink driving bimbo up. Good luck with that one! Another few points here regarding the comments made by Jenson and that Irvine chappie (you know the ex number 2 at Ferrari) Nice comeback Jenson, Irvine was never considered to be any good, no matter what car he drove. But Jenson did kind of put his foot in his mouth when he complained about Singapore being too long a race, as Nico said. "you can always give up with 5 laps remaining". And lastly, Jake when you ask someone a question, please respect them by looking at them and not around you, when they answer, you look as if you are ignorong them.
    Anyway NO to SKY.

  • Comment number 41.

    Take the "Free Market" out of F1, Bernie, lie down on the garage floor, learn to wash your hands again.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    I was actually at the 1971 British GP, watching the gas turbine Lotus. Forgive my slip, it was a long time ago. I wanted to see some clips of that race, even though the car retired before the end.

  • Comment number 45.

    I still don't understad why F1 is not considered a 'protected sport' in the UK. As most of the teams are based in the country, there is surely a case for government intervention to ensure that the sport remains free to air. Surely the teams are worried about a reduction in future engineers for the sport if young people lose interest due to not being able to watch it?

    I could probably afford Sky or split with a neighbour for it but out of principle I refuse to do so. Given the overwhelming sense of disgust and anger displayed by fans towards the decision does this situation not illustrate the arrogance and contempt shown by the BBC towards its license fee payers? Its time we were given a far greater say in how our money is spent, 6 million viewers makes F1 one of the most watched regular programmes, why ditch it?

    No to Sky
    No to Murdoch
    No to unaccountable bureaucrats at the BBC

  • Comment number 46.

    My god, Norbert Haug hasn't got a clue has he.

    NH: "I heard that they have ten million or whatever subscribers."

    3/4s of all Sky households don't subscribe to any pay channel, Sky Sports 1 (the biggest Sports Channel), has 1.7% of viewers, who in August watched an average of 27 minutes of SS1 per week, and that's up from only 18 minutes in July.

    NH: "maybe (the 7% viewers) it's an addition"

    No, it an estimated loss of 93% for the Sky broadcast races ... I think I see why Mercedes haven't been able to match the success of Brawn.

  • Comment number 47.

    Ah, these modern times - to be flown to Singapore, expenses paid, to write a couple of pages of inexpert prose. What cost per word?

    Did I mention as well.....NO TO SKY!

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm quite looking forward to seeing F1 on Sky. I don't really enjoy the F1 coverage (I've long since given up on the pre and post race guff), and don't see why every license payer should pay extra, just so the BBC can show F1 races Live in the middle of the night that (I'm assuming) get many less viewers.

    I used to quite like watching F1 digital plus back in the day too.

    Just sayin'.

  • Comment number 49.

    @48. Roosta1

    If you don't watch the pre' and post race stuff, then the Sky coverage will be no better than the BBC coverage, as all the images come from FOM TV and are identical.

    The only difference will be that the Sky pre' and post coverage will littered with adverts.

  • Comment number 50.

    "But here under the spectacular night-time skyline of Singapore, plenty of issues remain to be resolved."

    You're not wrong there Andrew!

  • Comment number 51.

    @49 Czar-Orac - I'm hoping that Sky will give me a pre and post race option that I will find more watchable, as I don't enjoy the BBC coverage at those times. Something which offered a more technical angle would suit me better. It's possible that Sky will be no better, but we'll need to wait and see.

    Replace Eddie and Jake on BBC and it might improve, but even then I still suspect the content will remain too fluffy and 'mainstream BBC' for my liking.

  • Comment number 52.

    Cancelled my TV licence... will be watching BBC completely free online from now on. How's that for saving money?

  • Comment number 53.

    @Roosta "and don't see why every license payer should pay extra, just so the BBC can show F1 races Live in the middle of the night that"

    If that's your opinion then we're in an even worse position now, every license payer is now paying for HALF a live season.

    The BBC should have dropped F1 completely, allowing another FTA channel such as C4 to pick it up according to the terms of the Concorde Agreement, and not invited Sky in.

    No To Sky.

  • Comment number 54.

    What a joke.

  • Comment number 55.

    @53 HCumber. The devil will be in the detail of just how much the BBC show of the non-live races. If the coverage includes the European season plus full reruns of the races not shown live, then the majority of viewers may find little difference in what they get to see (and when), but at a reduced cost to the FTA viewer.

    It will be interesting to see what Sky offer production wise. I remember just how tired the BBC coverage of Test match cricket was shown to be once Channel 4 and Sky started broadcasting it instead.

    With regards other FTA broadcasters, if ITV couldn't make it viable, I suspect Channels 4 and 5 would similarly struggle.

    Give Sky a Try.

  • Comment number 56.

    Please vote whether or not you'll be buying Sky Sports to view F1 races from next year

    Thanks in advance.

  • Comment number 57.

    @55 Roosta1

    Give sky a try - Good sell's pitch but I dont think you'll be getting a lot of takers.

    No to Sky!!!!

  • Comment number 58.

    Some numbers that British F1 fans that still care about the sport and will stick with it might be interested in(and is relevant to the specific topic of the blog):

    To remain in the title race after Singapore Jenson will have to either:

    Finish top two OR Finish top four AND hope Vettel doesn't win OR finish top six AND hope Vettel finishes outside the top two OR finish top seven AND hope Vettel doesn't make the podium OR finish top 8 AND hope Vettel finishes outside the top 4 OR finish top 10 AND hope that Vettel finished outside the top 5 OR fail to score AND hope Vettel finishs outside the op 6!

    Lewis will have to either: Win OR finish top 8 AND ahead of Vettel OR finish top 9 AND hope Vettel fails to score.

    Vettel wins the title in Singapore if:

    He wins AND Alonso fails to make the podium AND Jenson and Webber finish outside the top two.
    He finishes 2nd AND ahead of Lewis AND Alonso finishes outside the top 7 AND Jenson and Webber finish outside the top 4.
    He finishes 3rd AND ahead of Lewis AND Alonso finishes outside the top 8 AND Jenson and Webber finish outside the top 6.

    Here we go.

  • Comment number 59.

    After looking into the SKy deal it is possibly illegal please see

    Lets jope it is so we can KEEP the excellent coverage of F1 on the BBC where they do it better than anyone else.

    No To Sky !!!

  • Comment number 60.

    @ JensonJet. What you are proposing to do is illegal if it involves any live broadcasts, even online. Hardly crime of the decade, but still definitely illegal. You obviously believe it's OK to steal from other licence fee payers.

  • Comment number 61.

    @ ShaGGy_UK. You are the only protestor against this deal that has come up with anything of substance as far as I'm concerned, and even going for the anti-competitive line is still a massive long shot. Plus you are running out of time. By the time you refine that submission (and with respect, it seems to require an awful lot of revision) and submit it, then wait for the case to be examined, we'll be part way through next season already.

  • Comment number 62.

    It's quite interesting for me to read the outcry over the end of free F1 on the BBC. Here in South Africa the same thing basically happened about 8 years ago. Instead of free coverage, we now have to fork out what is (in relative terms) a considerable monthly amount to get exactly the same thing on paid satellite tv. Since then the sport has gone from something almost everyone watched (or at least vaguely followed) to something only the real die-hards still follow. It's quite sad to see, and it looks like the same thing is happening there soon.

  • Comment number 63.

    @ MGUK82. Nice bit of number crunching. I saw that yesterday on Got to say that I'm hoping for another dominant Vettel performance this weekend. If he can wrap up the championship here too, that will be a massive bonus. Nobody else in the field even comes close to deserving it this year.

  • Comment number 64.

    No to sky

  • Comment number 65.

    Andrew, when anyone in a forum writes 'the most complete driver on the grid' you know full well it's going to be a fanboy WUM article. Please don't use this phrase it doesn't do a serious journalist any justice (even if you do write 'For many people' beforehand)

    NO TO SKY. BBC why won't you answer our questions?

  • Comment number 66.

    I've been following this whole affair from afar in Asia with great interest. I can only dream of seeing the much improved BBC coverage this season. I have lived with Murdoch coverage of the sport on his Asian satellite channels for the last 3 years. Fortunately my monthly subscription charge is just 4 quid a month.

    So i thought i would share with you what you may expect in the coming seasons. Firstly, the coverage is riddled with adverts which always seem to start when the team radio icon appears on screen. I know Sky have said no adverts but then who said they were not hacking phones. give it time..

    With regards to the "team" we have the pleasure of Alex Yoong (understandable with the geography) but so lightweight, Gary Anderson and Steve Slater. The anchors are Steve Dawson (a poor mans Steve Ryder) and a very attractive young lady whose name eludes me. Her insight and comments are well erm, well as i said she is very attractive.

    I've just finished watching 3rd practice live and thank the lord for the mute button. 90 minutes minus about 30 minutes of adverts is hard work but my love of the sport gets me through it.

    I have the BBC online coverage running at the same time and as soon as i read Brundle's and Coulthard's comments on race day then i just have to wait a minute or so to hear it from Slater or Yoong. They clearly use the same feed to get all of their expert analysis. Anderson is the only one who really does know what he is talking about which you would expect with his CV.

    I hope this is not an insight into the future for you poor UK fans but food for thought.

  • Comment number 67.

    Andrew Benson should resign. As should the entire BBC F1 production team. That would send a clear message.

  • Comment number 68.

    @52 roosta1 how about being sued because it's illegal? You still have to have a licence to watch any bbc content online...

  • Comment number 69.

    @68 You only need a licence if you are watching live online.

  • Comment number 70.

    I know I'm in the minority here but why is everyone against Sky? Until recently we lived somewhere that had no analogue or digital coverage so Sky was our only option. We do have Sky in our current house, and we're pleased with the service, and once again this is because it is our only option to watch HD as freeview in our area is extremely limited. If you're against Sky and don't want to pay to watch, then so be it. Many sports events are being forced to go to pay tv as money is tight in a lot of places, and F1 is just another sport that has commercial interests and shareholders to appease. Just because it has been free doesn't mean it will always be free. I can remember when the bbc showed only highlights on bbc2 at 9pm on a sunday and it wasn't all that long ago (1992?). I can understand your frustration but would you rather have no coverage at all? Perhaps the bbc has been underhand and foolish, but again, it is under immense pressure to cut costs and has many people to satisfy. I for one am glad in some respects it has gone to Sky as their HD is likely to be better than the bbc's rubbish effort which was pretty low quality compared to other programmes available. Welcome to 2012 people, there are far more worrying things going on rather than a sport going to pay tv rather than being free. If you don't want to pay, then don't. I seriously doubt that you not paying would make an ounce of difference in the long run anyway...

  • Comment number 71.

    @69 which is what I assumed he wanted to do, else just watch the normal bbc coverage later...defeats the object surely?

  • Comment number 72.

    Another Race weekend and still no word from the BBC to answer the hundreds of questions the licence payer and F1 fans have been asking. How long are you going to go on ignoring us BBC? How badly do you really want to damage the name of the BBC? You are a disgrace

    No to Sky, Will never pay a penny to Sky, No to Sky and No to the Licence Fee.

  • Comment number 73.

    I honestly can't believe people saying no to the license fee. You can't easily avoid it, it's a tax you have to factor in if you want to watch tv, just like the taxes you pay if you want a car etc. No licence fee means foregoing tv just because one sport has gone pay tv? Talk about throwing your toys out of the pram guys and gals.

  • Comment number 74.

    @48 "don't see why every license payer should pay extra, just so the BBC can show F1 races Live in the middle of the night that (I'm assuming) get many less viewers."

    Pay extra? No-one's paying extra or less, the licence fee remains the same whether we get the whole season or only half. And I think "middle of the night" is something of an exaggeration.

    @51 "Replace Eddie and Jake on BBC and it might improve, but even then I still suspect the content will remain too fluffy and 'mainstream BBC' for my liking."

    If you think this is fluffy then I think you could be in for a huge shock next season!

  • Comment number 75.

    @ExcessBaggage. As a Lewis and Jenson fan I'm obviously wanting the title race to go on a bit longer(though if quali is anything to go by my guys are going to be out of it by the end of tomorrow) and yeah I got the Vettel side of things from and worked out the Lewis and Jenson angles for myself.

  • Comment number 76.


    Was that a offer :)

  • Comment number 77.

    @72, SirJGP Could not agree more, their behaviour is getting beyond unbeliveable.

    The wall of silence is getting akin to a child with their fingers in their ears repeating 'I can't hear you' in the vain hope that you'll go away. Well Mr BBC, we won't - so there!

    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 78.

    @68, @70, @71 & @75 3 D Candy:

    I cannot see where it defeats the object. At least the BBC & Sky are not getting his money. As long as he misses out any TV Sports results, (which he would have to do anyway, for 50% of the races)..........

    He can play freee catch-up later.....Np object to defeat......

    I know nobody was around at Spitall's in Lord Nelson's Day's i.e The Battle of Trafalgar?

    Well the whole fleet went on strike/Mutiny, over the rotten, maggot infested food & their treatment.? They would have normally hanged between 1 and 5 Mutineers per ship; but found it quite difficult to hang the 90% of the whole fleet. No Able Seamen/Sailors, no ships to up to strength to fight Napolean & the dreaded SKy/White Navy Types, (sorry the pesky French)?.........

    If 100's did not buy a Licence. Not good. If Thousands did not re-new/buy their Licence. Difficult to fine & take to court so many people.

    Even the BBC would have to report something like that and not try to hide it under the table.

    Hey looks like the WUMs are feeding on their Thesaurus/Dictionary's again. They even boast about working things out for them selves. Wow! Cowboys with a thought process of heir own... Help!...Help!
    VerrrWum! VerrrrWum! VerrrrrWum! Excess Compliment each other ploy now. VerrrWum!

  • Comment number 79.

    @77 Joanna
    Nice to see you back here with us again.....

  • Comment number 80.

    @79. I thank you. Interseting comments so far I see. Lovely to notice the 'No the Sky' feeling is still as strong as ever. Must keep it up, though would be great to hear from the Beeb at some point. Tis getting rediculous now.

    Not to Sky etc

  • Comment number 81.

    Hey Hey BBC
    We all want F1 for free

    No to $ky

  • Comment number 82.

    Something very strange is happening in my house, trawling through the Virgin media TV guide to find the cricket (Champions League T20) on Eurosport, I've discovered they seem to have activated the Sky sports channels.... perhaps they have cottoned on to my complaints to all and sundry and are now trying to persuade me to sign up?? .... very fishy.

    @67 - welcome back Alistair - you seem to be in favour with the moderators again!! Well done.

  • Comment number 83.

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for your tweet. I would like to point out that all the F1 fans that have a real issuse with the BBC/Sky deal are NOT getting at you.

    Sadly you have become the frontman on the blogs and are receiving the backlash of the fans - which in my opinion is a slight injustice. Meanwhile, in defense of myself and fellow F1 fans, we feel that the BBC should be a little forthcoming with the details of the deal.

    We are not asking an awful lot but we want to know why any other FTA broadcaster was not involved?

    BTW an apology from the BEEB would be nice.

    No To Sky and yes to Real Television Live.... (Made up for my boob earlier).

  • Comment number 84.

    @74 - to keep F1 on BBC would require more money. More money = higher license fee (which was declined at the last review).

    And you honestly think that Sky won't deliver a weightier production than one hosted by a kids TV presenter?

    Really? Truthfully?

    *shakes head in dispair*

  • Comment number 85.

    At 15:33 24th Sep 2011, 3dcandy wrote:

    I honestly can't believe people saying no to the license fee. You can't easily avoid it, it's a tax you have to factor in if you want to watch tv, just like the taxes you pay if you want a car etc. No licence fee means foregoing tv just because one sport has gone pay tv? Talk about throwing your toys out of the pram guys and gals.

    Well as F1 is the only real program I watch religiously on the TV I see little point in having a TV or paying for a licence to watch it if I cam only going to be able to see half of the sport I love. I will not be renewing my TV licence when it expires as there is little else on TV I watch and I can live without the rubbish soaps and reality show the BBC appears to think we all need to see.

    As for throwing toys out of my pram, it is not a problem mine are safe and sound in my pram.

    No to Sky, Never pay a penny to Sky, No to the licence fee.

  • Comment number 86.

    Interesting to note that apart from remaining quite on the deal, there was very little mention of 2012 on any of the BBC coverage so far this weekend. Must be quite hard to deny the existance of next year. Wonder if they will celebrate New Years Eve?

    No to Sky

  • Comment number 87.

    As many others said, only a few blogs ago in this season Andrew said Vettel is always a suspect and his own favorite Alonso is the "complete driver on the grid" - he then adds this is the popular view in the paddock just so that we don't suspect it to be his personal opinion. Now he has added Vettel to that list of "complete drivers" and again just so that we don't suspect it to be his personal opinion, he uses this word "paddock". Whatever it be Andrew, how will only a few races change the opinion from "suspect" to "complete driver" for Vettel. I admire some other reviewers who stuck with Vettel and have recognized his talent very early this season. They know what they are talking about. I'm afradi you don't belogn to that category even though as a professional sports blogger you are supposed to have good eye for talent rather than dismissing it as "car" which you did for Vettel just a few races ago. Alonso may have all the skills, but put him with a team-mate where he has to compete on the track without help from the team radio, he is as ordinary as he could be. At least Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button, Massa and Raikkonen have the guts to compete with a competitive team-mate without much fuss.

    Anyway I stopped taking you seriously long time back when you supported Alonso to the hilt disregarding all fans for his atrocious win when Massa moved over last season. It was obvious you write more for projecting your favorite in an exaggerated way than what he really is.

  • Comment number 88.

    This qualifying result represents a very, very sad state of affairs for F1. The cars are (practically) in numerical order! If not for Petrov and Senna, they'd be in complete Noah's Ark formation. Something is wrong.

    I've watched every televised race since 1976. I've watched all the season reviews (from various publishers) since 1970. I've read all the biographies and most of the magazines. I am a Sky user but I don't and won't pay for sports or movies. I despise what the BBC have done to F1 coverage - the pre and post-race nonsense, Jake Humphrey, Eddie Jordan and David Uh I can Uh H-H-H-Hardly Uh Speak Croft. I hated Legard, and happily he has now gone. I hate them all so very, very much. Except for Martin, who is superb.

    Sometimes Lewis reminds me of Montoya, or even Nigel Mansell and it is wonderful. Sometimes (not often) Jenson reminds me a tiny bit of Prost. Sometimes Vettel and his stinking finger remind me of Michael's five year catatonia and I am saddened. Maaaaahhhhhk Wiiiibbbbbahhhhh makes me despair and his supporters make me lose the will to live.

    1976-2011 is quite a good run I suppose. It included Murray and Nigel, and a guy with a personality disorder and a yellow helmet.

    A few points off correction for those in the dark-

    1. The BBC's viewers are not subscribers. The TV licence is paid to operate the equipment able to receive broadcast material irrespective of who made it.
    2. The BBC's viewers are not customers. The BBC's customers are the other broadcasters who buy BBC productions. The BBC has to achieve certain viewing figures in order to be able to ask the government for money, raised via the TV licence.
    3. The BBC is accountable to the government, not the viewers and not the licence fee payers. Her Majesty's subjects (for we are NOT citizens), and viewers, and the licence fee payers can lobby both the BBC and the government.

  • Comment number 89.


    Yer 'shake your head in despair' your Ben Gallop in disguise and I claim my £5, which I will not be putting to any sky subscription

    No to sky

  • Comment number 90.

    I agree with those who are not going to pay their licence tax next year, funding the BBC when they fail to provide what the public want to see and refuse to come clean over this disgraceful deal is just wrong. How they can say it is a good deal for F1 fans when they have done a deal that will cost the fan at least twice a year more than they are paying the BBC while still having to pay the BBC for half a program is criminal.

    BBC you have cut your own throat by making this deal.

    No to Sky & No to the Licence Tax.

  • Comment number 91.

    The first video compilation on the quali show today was full of errors - mismatched audio, commentary tied up with the incorrect driver clip, etc.

    I get the feeling they've lost enthusiasm already. Who would blame them?

  • Comment number 92.

    @89 - who is Ben Gallop? I assume someone who shares similar views?

    @90 - the deal won't cost me or any other current sky sports subscriber a penny more than I am currently spending. Similarly it won't cost any one a penny more if they choose not to subscribe.

    F1 fans have had it good for a long time - cricket and football fans have had to pay to enjoy their passions for about as long as regular full race coverage has been shown on FTA TV. It was always going to end some day, and if this safeguards the BBC for a while longer, then - in my opinion - this is a price well worth paying. It's remarkable the whole lot hasn't been given over to Sky.

  • Comment number 93.

    @ 84

    More money? More money than what? More money than they had already agreed to pay?
    No, it was the same amount of money they said they supposedly couldn't afford.

    Sky, a weightier production? Let me see. Pre & post race riddled with adverts. Safety car's out, so are the adverts... will they cut short that last advert because the safety car's coming in? Oooh, you can BET you're bottom dollar they won't.
    And interviews with the 'stars'... yup, that's weightier. That adds SO much weight.

    And how long, honestly, really, do you think it will be before Sky find it necessary to plonk adverts in the race itself? Shall we make a weighty Sky BET on that one, too.

    As for the Beeb, it's not necessarily half the season you see either. If their are an odd number of races, Auntie only gets half of the closest even number. 21 races, BBC gets 10. 19, BBC gets 9.

    @ 83

    Get your point. There's only one thing that ever so slightly changes into the wrong gear for me with Mr Benson & that's... why Singapore? If he's there under his own steam then I've no problem. But at a time when the tightening of belts is being presented to us as the one & only reason for all the BBC's somewhat bizarre financial manoeuvres of late, why send Benson to Singapore when a) they have enough underused journalists there already, & b) it comes across as a tad insulting to a large proportion of F1 fans who've lost half the season next year due to financial constraints, & yet still see Slater & Benson being flown to exotic locations - &, in Benson's case, writing blogs that could have been easily written back in blighty.

    Andrew, perhaps you would like to comment on this.

  • Comment number 94.

    @ 92. Roosta1

    I for one will be glad to see the BBC go under, the right thing for them to do would have been to either see out the contract till its end and then the bidding could have started again with all boradcasters putting in their bid, or they should have finished the contract early and again let CVC open up the bidding to all boroadcaster for the rights.

    I am not intersted in Football or Cricket but I do think sport of all kinds is worse off on PPV and should be free to air as much as possible.

    No to Sky, No to the Licence Tax

  • Comment number 95.

    Well I just came home asked missus to record Quali for me and within 2 minutes of entering the house I know the results :( so no point in me watching it now.

    This will be what will happen when the BBC show highlights later in the day as it is almost impossible nowadays with all the different media angles i.e facebook, twitter, MSN news pop up when you load up your computer etc etc etc

    This move will kill F1 in the UK lets hope the Competition Commission see this deal as illegal

    Please help get this worded in a more professional way.

  • Comment number 96.

    Sky are welcome to it. If we're offered the same general mundane fare with the odd good race as we have been this season, it's no big loss. I suppose people should have the right to choose to watch it without having to pay extra dosh, but get with the program people. When something becomes extremely marketable, it gets snapped up by the money men. It happened to football, its happening to F1. Money talks, and also has the uncanny knack of getting its own way. It's pure business. It's in the hands of people who have little passion for sport, but major passion for profit. I'm inclined to dislike it, I think its wrong, but unfortunately, theres little that can really be done.

  • Comment number 97.

    You dont even know who ben gallop is? so whaths your point on this?
    Maybe spite as you did not fight for your sport before sky brought it out?

    let me just quote you here
    F1 fans have had it good for a long time - cricket and football fans have had to pay to enjoy their passions for about as long as regular full race coverage has been shown on FTA TV

    Ah yes spite go join the sky sheep in murdocks flook:)

  • Comment number 98.

    Found it quite sad that final quali was missing a number of drivers as the teams decided to sit it out to save tyres. Do any of those involved in this sport care about the fans and about keeping the sport a real spectacle?

    Like others am disappointed that the BBC is happy to spend licence fee payers ££ on sending numerous reporters out to Singapore when they clearly could do the same great job with less -cost not an issue in this case and perhaps a whole new meaning for 'excess baggage' ;)

    Still no word on the BBC's give away to SKY? No surprise there eh

  • Comment number 99.

    Thank you Sky. Although I hate everything that Murdoch tainted organisation represents, I'm glad it's getting rid of F1 on the BBC. F1 is a pathetic excuse for a sport. A posse of dullards driving souped up go-karts in circles for an hour and a half. I thought anything would be an improvement on a re-run of Eastenders. How wrong I was. I can't believe the punters are rejoicing over the wear and tear on tyres. Why not show us the process of manufacturing tyres instead of showing them degrade. I imagine the former would be much better fun. Thank God for the Columbo re-runs on ITV. Even his car is more interesting.

  • Comment number 100.

    @ 99 Don't bother posting here then. Go back to EE.


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